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Edited by on May 5 2011 at 7:03 AM

At Monday’s Met Costume Institute Gala, Hamish Bowles was resplendent in Alexander McQueenone of the few to wear McQueen and wear it well, thank you very much — but things got off to a rocky start between the late designer and Vogue‘s adorable Editor-at-Large.

Hamish Bowles on First Meeting Alexander McQueen: I Was Terrified

“I was terrified,” Bowles tells New York Mag, “There were very few teeth, I remember, and quite a significant beer belly. [The teeth] bespoke street fights.”

I never thought it would take much to terrify the diminutive Bowles, who went to meet McQueen at the behest of the late Isabella Blow while he was still a student at Central Saint Martins:

“So I went to south, south, south London, it took hours to get there, and it was his auntie’s welfare apartment. And he had some mannequins in the front room, and this really terrifying creature greeted me, and he was inarticulate and abrasive and just absolutely brilliant. You could just see there was just a raw talent. And you could tell he was frustrated because he felt that he wasn’t ready to be showing me things.”

When Harried Met Dandy. [The Cut]

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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester at